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Going red for Carter to find a cure for hemophilia

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 11:28 am

Alicia Bowman (back left), Jane Leblanc, Kim Cheel, Lisa Bischke and Terri Amey (front) will be dying their luscious locks red on April 17 in support of World Hemophilia Day and Carter's Quest for a Cure. The combined goal for the fundraiser is $6,000 but it is also about spreading awareness of hemophilia, a medical condition that reduces the ability to clot blood and causes suffers to bleed severly from even a slight injury.
Alicia Bowman (back left), Jane Leblanc, Kim Cheel, Lisa Bischke and Terri Amey (front) will be dying their luscious locks red on April 17 in support of World Hemophilia Day and Carter's Quest for a Cure. The combined goal for the fundraiser is $6,000 but it is also about spreading awareness of hemophilia, a medical condition that reduces the ability to clot blood and causes suffers to bleed severly from even a slight injury.
Codio Photography for Rocky View Publishing

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On April 12, six local ladies will be taking the plunge and become redheads in support of Carter’s Quest for a Cure and World Hemophilia Day.

“I’ve never had red hair before and I’m very excited,” said Colour Me Red participant Jane Leblanc, who currently has brown hair with blonde highlights.

Leblanc is taking the fundraiser a step further and is taking requests from people pledging her as to how bright a red she will go.

“I’m kind of open to anything,” she said, adding she’d like to raise at least $500.

Carter’s Quest for a Cure is a local non-profit organization working to find a cure for Hemophilia, a rare blood disease that severely reduces the ability to clot blood, causing sufferers to bleed acutely from even the slightest injury.

The Colour Me Red event, which had its inaugural event last year, was organized to both raise funds to help find a cure for the condition and to raise awareness about this rare disease.

According to the World Federation of Hemophilia, only about 1 in 10,000 people are born with hemophilia. However, those afflicted are impacted in every day of their life.

Airdrie’s Carter Ruklic, whom Carter’s Quest is named for, was diagnosed at four weeks old with severe hemophilia. The result of the condition means Carter, now five, is faced with needles nearly every day and an IV administration of coagulation factors every two days.

“No person loves needles and he’s had well over 800 in his lifetime,” said Carter’s mom and founder of Carter’s Quest for the Cure, Jennifer Ruklic.

Not only does the little boy have to deal with a lot of needles, he also has to be more careful than other kids his age, who often want to explore and experience new things.

“It’s just about him being a little more cautious,” Ruklic said. “He’s a normal boy who lives a normal life… but it would be great if there was a cure and he didn’t have to worry about, ‘maybe I shouldn’t rollerblade,’ or ‘maybe I shouldn’t ride my bike down that big hill.’”

Ruklic said her son is a happy boy who gets a ton of support from family and friends but especially from his big sister Cassie, 10, who mom calls a “little mother hen.”

“Our goal has always been to find a cure in Carter’s lifetime,” Ruklic said in a press release.

“The fundraising goal is to raise $6,000 to match last year’s total. If we were to get every resident in Airdrie to donate 25 cents, we would hit well over $10,000.”

“It’s such a grassroots effort because you know directly who it effects and can see the difference in our community and your own circle of friends,” said Colour Me Red participant Kim Cheel, who dyes her hair frequently as an actress and is currently a brunette.

Another Colour Me Red participant, Terri Amey said she was drawn to participate in part because Carter’s Quest is in Airdrie and she is proud to help local organizations.

“I know if it was my child, I would do everything I could. It’s kind of like the mama bear comes out,” she said.

Amey, who has long blonde hair, said a big part of the event for her is to spread awareness of hemophilia.

She said once she has gone red, she is hoping for at least a few people to ask her why she changed her hair colour.

“I’m hoping to at the very least get more people aware of hemophilia,” she said, adding she will upload pictures of the hair colour change to social media to get her followers involved.

Cheel said people always ask her why she changed her hair each time she does it, so she will spread awareness too.

“I will definitely work it into the conversation,” she said.

Though she doesn’t have a specific fundraising goal in mind, she said every bit helps.

“Even five bucks makes a difference because that is five bucks they didn’t have before,” she said.

The dye job will take place at the Hair Lounge on April 12, with World Hemophilia Day shortly after on April 17.

To make a donation, visit www.cartersquest.com


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